Guided Communication

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Guided communication is a set-up style of a chatbot. There are 2 ways for chatbots to communicate. One is guided communication, where one can navigate exclusively via buttons, and the other is free text input, where users interact with the chatbot by typing in natural sentences. As the name suggests, in the first case the user is guided through the chatbot's content with the help of buttons and thus only has the option of clicking to access certain content.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of guided communication?

Clear advantages of guided communication are quite simple. The user can only see the content that has been developed. This makes it very easy to quickly develop a first chatbot and bring it to market. It avoids the difficulty of recognising natural language by following a rule-based approach. Another advantage is that the user cannot be disappointed because he does not get an answer to his question, but the user knows that the chatbot can only answer what is also accessible via buttons. In addition, communication can be accelerated if only buttons have to be clicked instead of typing in entire sentences. In this way, the user reaches the goal more quickly.

A resulting disadvantage is the following: Through the rules-based approach, one loses a lot of technology and the advantages of open natural communication. Users feel most comfortable when they can communicate in a natural way, as they do in their everyday lives. Another disadvantage of purely guided communication is that complex chatbot use cases cannot be mapped because the interaction options are very limited.

How is guided communication used?

Guided communication should always be integrated in combination with free text input. This allows the advantages of guided communication to be exploited and avoids the disadvantages of free text communication. Furthermore, it is very good to work with buttons to give the user a framework of what content can be answered by the chatbot.

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